As far as I know, this game is only played in Colombia, but I am sure there are other variations in other parts of Latin America. I have been using this game as an energizer in my 4th and 5th grade classes. My students have really loved playing this game. I thought it would be great to share this with other teachers here.

In preparation for this game, all you need is a space where your students can sit in a circle and an object to pass around. I use a small ball made of fabric. I try not to use anything that will bounce off their hands because then it becomes a distraction for the students.

Students sit in a circle. Choose one student who will close her eyes and will be the one chanting “tingo….tango.” The children in the circle will be passing the object while she chants “tingo, tingo, tingo…” as much as possible. When the student who is chanting “tingo” says “tango,” the student who has the ball or small object must come to the middle of the circle to choose a “penalty.” I added a chart with penalties that I project up on the board in my room, so this way it is easier for my students to choose a penalty to do. I also added that the whole class says “penitencia” when the person who is saying “tingo” says “tango.” Some of the “penitencias” I use are taken from the movement cards I have previously shared in this blog. The penitencias are simple – for example, sing like a rooster, dance like ghost, or move your head like a turkey.

Once the student has completed the penalty, this same student takes the place of the person who was chanting “tingo….tango,” and the game starts all over again.


Have fun!




Do you do any activities in your Elementary Spanish classes that incorporate phonological awareness? It’s definitely not a requirement to teach phonological awareness in an early language class but this one is hidden in a movement activity, so why not?!

El chicle mágico

I learned this magic gum game when I was a kindergarten teacher in Colombia and we could spend a lot of time playing it! I have been using it with my Spanish learners here and they seem to enjoy it.

To get ready for it, just print the template and put it together. Pretend to give your students the magic gum, tell them that it’s invisible. Pretend to eat it and then take it out and make a little ball. Choose a word. I like using my magic bag for this. I just put a few flashcards in it.

Once you have one word to play with, ask your students to use the gum and stretch it by syllables. For example, if the word has three syllables, they will stretch the gum three times. You can do it fast, slow, big and small!

See it in action here!

You can then follow up the game with jumps!

Have fun!




This is a twist on the traditional “Veo, veo” song/game. I used a short version and added a movement component to it. This game has been a hit in my in-person and virtual classes.

This game can be used with anything you are teaching in your classes. I have used it to review vocabulary, with images from stories for retelling and more!  As you can see in the video, I used it with my virtual students during our Zoom class and gave them access to the annotation tool.

How to play the game:

  1. One student chooses a picture of the chart projected in class. That same student says “Veo, veo” (I see, I see).
  2. The rest of the class responds by saying “¿Qué ves?” (What do you see?).
  3. The student that said “Veo, veo” says the name of the picture and also chooses a movement for everyone to do. For example, “Veo una cara feliz. ¡Corre!”.
  4. The rest of the participants start running (in place) once they see the picture.
  5. Then the student asks a volunteer to point at the picture, and the game starts all over again with a new student choosing the picture.

Here are some videos with the traditional game:

Have fun playing this game and let me know how it goes! Download the cards HERE!



On the positive side of this COVID pandemic, many of us have discovered the joy of connecting with colleagues and friends via Zoom. To be honest, I never got to use Zoom before the pandemic, and it now has become a tool that I not only use to teach but to meet with colleagues and family across the United States and the world.

A few months ago I started a monthly virtual meeting with colleagues who are registered on my mailing list (by the way, if you are not yet, you might want to do so for a chance to participate in our next Café Virtual!). The attendance at the virtual gathering is limited to allow for colleagues to connect and share experiences with others. As part of the Café Virtual, I gave myself the homework (no really) to write a post about what happens in each café to share with other colleagues who were not able to attend due to the limited size of the group. So here is the first post for our first Café this year!

On February 13 I hosted my first Café Virtual of 2021, and thirteen awesome and inspiring teachers attended. We all left with some amazing ideas to bring to our classes. Due to the current situation, we started by sharing how each of us has been teaching. Some teachers are working in hybrid settings, some in-person, others remote, you name it!

Although this café was focusing on games, we ended up sharing many great tips, activities, and music that work well with elementary students. Here is some of what was shared during our café!


El líder: Ask one student to leave the room. Ask a student in the room who will make gestures and who everyone needs to imitate. Invite back to the room the student who was outside. The líder starts making movements and gestures that everyone else in the room imitates. The student that had been outside now has three turns to guess who is leading the group. Variation for virtual settings: Send a student to the breakout room while you decide who will be leading the group.

Use of TPR with Images: Show images to your students to invite them to move. For example Jumping Jacks. Also, read stories and ask questions. Have them respond by using movement or gestures

Jamboard Activities: Jamboard is a way to make Google Slides more interactive. This collection of resources on my blog were also mentioned as a resource that works well in any teaching setting.

Use Bingo Baker to Create Online Games: This is a paid online platform that allows you to create online bingo cards using your own pictures. The game will generate individual cards for each participant. You just need to share the link to the game with the students. There are also many games already created on the platform.

  • Find more games for online and in-person classes here!


YouTube Channels and Other Online Resources

Songs also were a topic during our Café. Here are the ones that were mentioned. Make sure to add them to your list if you haven’t already done so!

Duo Karma (From Cuba)


Learning Spanish with Johanna

Rockalingua: Camaleón – ¿Dónde estoy?

Kid Time Story Time in Spanish


Calico Spanish

Canticos: Bilingual Nursery Rhymes and Kids Songs

Salsa: Teach Young Children Spanish

Other strategies and Truquitos:

Pre-Record Videos of  Yourself for In-Person Classes

Some of these teachers have been making videos of themselves that they show during in-person classes to avoid the fatigue that teaching with a facemask might give you. This also helps the students to continue seeing the face of their teachers and keep them engaged during class. If you haven’t done it, all noted that this requires extra work but is well worth it!

Remove Adds from YouTube Videos:

This little tip is one that every teacher should know! Showing a video and have an ad pop up in the middle of a YouTube video is a teacher’s nightmare! This will save you! You will need to copy the link of the YouTube video and open it in another browser. Add a hyphen between the letters T and U, and voila! All the ads are gone! (i.e., change “youtube” to “yout-ube.”)

Interested in participating in the next Café Virtual? First, you will need to subscribe to my newsletter. One of the newsletters will include a link to register for the Café and the discussion topic.  Space is limited. Only 15 participants can attend!  If you are among the first 15 registrants, I will send you an email a few days before the Café Virtual with more info.

Looking forward to our next Café Virtual!





Magic Words in Spanish

Magic Words in Spanish

These words come in handy in every class! Use fun reminders and encourage children to use them in their daily interactions. Print the flash cards and laminate them for durability.  Introduce them in a bag. Take each word out and read it aloud. Pretend to do magic tricks using the paper wand included in the cards. Create movements or gestures for each word. You can also use Google to learn the signs from American Sign Language that goes along with each word. Use them when singing the song and invite everyone to sign and sing with you.

Download your flash cards HERE!

Have fun!
You might like these resources on Teachers Pay Teachers: